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Annual Ketton Wassail a noisy success




Residents of village near Stamford took part in an old English custom at the weekend designed to encourage a good crop later in the year.

The annual wassail of the orchard trees took place in Hall Close, Ketton on Saturday, January 26, and started at 4.15pm.

A wassail is a traditional custom to celebrate the apple harvest and reawaken the trees - ready for another fruitful year.

Participants get the chance to bang their pots and pans to make a lot of noise to ensure a good harvest.

The event was held for the first time in Ketton in 2016 and was such a success the tradition has continued.

Parish councillor Mary Cade said this year's event had been well attended.

"This is the 4th year that it has been held and we had about 70 to 80 people so it was a good turnout," she said, adding the feedback received was positive.

"Everyone was smiling and making lots of noise so it went well.

"In the past people used to bring their shotguns along to make the noise but now we encourage them to bring their pots and pans.

"It's really just an opportunity to get together and celebrate the apple trees, sing and make some noise and have a good time."

Entertainment included Morris dancing, a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music, while the Ketton Community Choir also performed.

A roaring brazier kept the chill at bay as did mulled juice and cider.

Everyone was welcome at the Northwick Arms Hall for refreshments afterwards with more dancing and singing on the go while the Ketton Handbell Ringers were in attendance.

Ketton Tree Planting day took place on Sunday, January 27, from 2pm to 4pm in Hall Close.

Community members and visitors helped plant a new apple orchard and osier willow bed.

"We had about 20 to 30 people of all ages turn up for the planting and we planted 12 apple trees and osier," said Mary.

Everyone was invited to enjoy drinks and cakes by a warming fire at the event.



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